You would have to attend a week-long academy training group, which is actually quite a bit of fun. You would then be posted to a ship determined by several factors. During training, you will be given a questionnaire which will determine what kind of ship would be best suited to your SIMming pace, etc. You will be posted as an Ensign. Speeds of promotion vary, but it normally depends on factors such as your enthusiasm, SIMming frequency, cooperation and helpfulness towards others on your ship, building both on the main plots and your character, and your contributions to the group as a whole. If you are concerned about starting off as an Ensign, I wouldn't worry so much. If you have SIMming experience and you still have access to you old SIMs and you wish to maintain your character, just remember, what would be a rehashing of old events to your old group, is brand new to us The only thing you would have to tweak would be the formatting. Other than that, coming with a pre-made character is quite a time-saver when it comes to pondering what sort of character to play, and adding a bio to that character. Also, this group is not going to fade away anytime soon. I have been in and out for the last 10+ years. (Yup, it gets in your blood) The group's creator is still around, and the staff are always there to assist when needed. It has maintained a steady level of participation since I have been here (that's 10+ years), and for that I thank the recruitment and advertising team, who keep a steady flow of Cadets coming in on a weekly basis. I hope this answers your question.